Katie Jarvis has said her children are her priority after she was “job shamed” in a newspaper article.

The Daily Star reported on Saturday that the former EastEnders actress, 28, currently works in retail security at a branch of B&M Bargains.

The article was soon criticised and Jarvis received support from several actors, including EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwaite, Poirot’s David Suchet and former Coronation Street actor Charlie Condou.

In an ‘as told to’ piece on Grazia, Jarvis said: “I’ve got two young kids – Lillie-Mae, 10, and Alfie, eight – and because their dad isn’t in the picture, it’s just me. As long as I’m providing for them, nothing else matters.

“Everything I do is for them. It’s one thing for them to see Mum chasing her dream, but it’s also good for them to see me putting in the hard graft elsewhere.”

She added that while she ‘loved’ playing the role of Hayley Slater – Kat Moon’s cousin – she found it tricky to balance the role with her home life.

Awards: Katie Jarvis in Fish Tank

Katie Jarvis on the Victoria Derbyshire show

“It was a massive adjustment for me. I was thrown into millions of people’s front rooms overnight and was suddenly recognised by everyone,” she said. “And my character’s storyline included self-harm, suicide attempts, alcoholism, pregnancy, fractured family relationships – mentally, it was a lot to take in while still trying to maintain some normality at home.” 

Jarvis, who is from Dagenham in east London, got her big break when she was cast by director Andrea Arnold in 2009’s Fish Tank opposite Michael Fassbender.

Her role saw her win plaudits from critics, prompting a nomination for the Evening Standard British Film award for Most Promising Newcomer in 2010.



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